18 hours ago
Monday, January 24, 2011
Review of Eona
by Alison Goodman
Young Adult fantasy
Pub date April 19th 2011
[I gave this book, like most books I review on this blog, five stars on Goodreads.com]
I wish I could give a book six stars. This one earned all six. Alison Goodman spent months agonizing over the last 3 or 4 chapters, and it was completely worth it--they're amazing, and a fitting ending to the Eon/Eona saga.
There are so many things I love about these books that I don't know where to start.
In Eon, the first book, Eon is a girl passing as a boy in order to train as a candidate for the Rat Dragoneye Apprenticeship. Although she is crippled and a girl, her master has managed to help her through the long training process and finally the day has come for the Rat Dragon to choose a new Dragoneye apprentice. The chain of events that begins on that morning spins quickly out of control, and Eon must use all of her resources to stay alive.
In Eona, Eon's true identity has been revealed and she is on the run from Sethon, the pretender to the Emperor's throne. Eona is coming into her power and her identity, but she doesn't have time to figure things out slowly. Every moment counts as she and the true emperor battle to restore him to the throne. Throughout everything, the power of the dragons and the richness of the culture make this an incredibly lush set of novels.
I love the world that Alison Goodman has created. It's like Tamora Pierce's Tortall in its breadth and depth of tradition, and the Asian-ness of it is incredibly compelling. The characters inhabit a place and time where breach of etiquette can mean serious consequences, but they must reinvent the rules as they go.
The love story is also brilliantly developed. Eona is a character who has gone from a young girl, servant, and cripple to someone with enormous power over dragons and men. Her moral compass is constantly being recalibrated, and it shows in her every action. She has to tell lies and keep secrets, even from people who love her.
I could probably go on for years about this book, but I think you just have to read it.